BrandArena: Google’s Self-Driving Car Caused Its First Accident

Tuesday 1 March 2016

Google’s Self-Driving Car Caused Its First Accident

In an accident report made public on Monday, Google disclosed that its self-driving car had caused a crash earlier last month when the Lexus-model Google car was in autonomous mode and driving down a public street in Google’s hometown of Mountain View, California.

As the Google car tried reentering the center lane, it struck the side of a public bus.

Though the report doesn’t ascribe any blame, but says that the test driver assumed the bus would let the Google car back into the lane: “The Google AV test driver saw the bus approaching in the left side mirror but believed the bus would stop or slow to allow the Google AV to continue. Approximately three seconds later, as the Google AV was reentering the center of the lane it made contact with the side of the bus.”

The company looks on the bright side of the incident, calling the crash “a tricky set of circumstances that’s helped us improve an important skill for navigating similar roads.”

“We clearly bear some responsibility, because if our car hadn’t moved there wouldn’t have been a collision,” the report reads. “That said, our test driver believed the bus was going to slow or stop to allow us to merge into the traffic, and that there would be sufficient space to do that.”

According to the statement by the comopany, the self-driving car was traveling at less than 2 miles per hour, while the bus was driving at 15 mph.

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